Science

Ice cream goes to space!

Ice cream goes to space!

A SpaceX capsule was fired at the International Space Station on Monday, carrying tons of scientific research. And ice cream!

As has become customary on these cargo flights, SpaceX landed its leftover reinforcement at Cape Canaveral shortly after takeoff, a key to its long-term effort to recycle rockets and reduce costs.

“Beautiful day, spectacular launch,” said Dan Hartman, NASA’s deputy director for the space station program.

The experiments make up the bulk of the 6,400 pounds of cargo, which should reach the lab in orbit on Wednesday. That includes 20 mice that will come back alive within the SpaceX Dragon capsule in about a month. The Dragon also doubles as an ice cream truck this time around.

There was extra space in the freezer, so NASA packed small cups of vanilla ice cream, chocolate and ice cream birthday cake as well as chocolate ice cream.

Those invitations should be especially welcomed by the American astronaut Peggy Whitson, in orbit since November. She must return in early September. Newcomer Randolph Bresnik turns 50 next month.

The space station was approaching 250 miles over the Atlantic, just off Nova Scotia, when the Falcon took flight.

It was the 14th successful landing for SpaceX and the sixth on giant X at the company’s landing site at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a few miles from its NASA-rented platform at the Kennedy Space Center.

“It’s right on the bull’s-eye, and a very soft touchdown,” said Hans Koenigsmann of SpaceX.

The mice on board are part of a study of visual problems suffered in space by some male astronauts. Scientists will study the pressure in the eyes of animals as well as the movement of the fluid in their brains.

Thirty days for mice in space is comparable to three years for humans, according to Michael Delp of Florida State University who is in charge of the experiment. The study could help explain why female astronauts do not have this vision problem, which can remain long after space flight, he added.

The Dragon also has an instrument to measure the cosmic rays of the space station. This type of device has previously flown on high altitude balloons. The Army has an onboard imaging microsatellite for launch this fall from the station.

It is a demonstration of technology; The military wants to see how small satellites like this one, with low-cost cameras and telescopes available on the market, could support critical ground operations. It’s the size of a bedroom refrigerator.

Three Americans and one Italian will tackle all this scientific work in orbit. The station is also home to two Russians; That number will be up to three in a year or so.

SpaceX Dragon is the only supply vessel capable of returning elements to Earth. Parachutes in the Pacific; The others burn during re-entry. AP

WHEN EXACTLY WILL THE ECLIPSE HAPPEN? A MULTIMILLENIUM TALE OF COMPUTATION

WHEN EXACTLY WILL THE ECLIPSE HAPPEN? A MULTIMILLENIUM TALE OF COMPUTATION

August 21, 2017, there will be a total solar eclipse visible on a line in the United States. But when the solar eclipse occurs exactly in a certain place? Being able to predict astronomical events has always been one of the great triumphs of accurate science. But in 2017, how can we do?

Stephen Wolfram is a computer scientist, physicist and businessman.

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The answer, I think, is pretty good, even if the front of all the movements just over 1000 mph, it should be possible to predict when you will get to a certain spot in a second maybe.

And as proof, we have created a website to allow anyone to enter their geographical location (or address), then immediately calculate the eclipses when they reach and generate many other pages of information.
This is an old COMPANY
In these days, it is easy to know when the next solar eclipse will be; Although integrated with Wolfram’s language, there is a function that tells him (in this form, output is the “most hidden moment”):

It is also easy to find and track where the whole region will be:

Or to determine that the entire area will be about 16% of the surface of the United States:

But computer eclipses are not exactly a new business. In fact, 2000 years old Antikythera device was even trying to do it – with the help of 37 metal gears to get closer to the movement of the Sun and Moon (yes, with Earth in the center).

To me, there is something disturbing – and warning – in the fact that the Antikythera device is such a solitary, but not forgotten technology surpassed for over 1600 years.

But there, at the bottom of the unit, there is an arm that moves, and when a mark or mark Η Σ, indicates an eclipse of the Sun or the possible Moon. How to set the dates on the device is a bit weird (after all, the modern calendar would not be invented for another 1,500 years)

However, if we take the Wolfram Demonstration Project simulation (which was calibrated in 2012 during the creation of the demonstration), and turn the crank to adjust the equipment to August 21, 2017, here’s what you get:
And, yes, all these gears are moving to align the indicator of the moon with the sun – and to the arm in the lower right-hand point of Η – as it should for a solar eclipse. It is amazing what happens successfully in a device designed 2000 years ago.

Of course, the results are much more accurate today. Although, curiously, despite all the theoretical science that has been done, how we actually calculate the position of the Sun and Moon is conceptually very similar to the gears and efficiently – epicycles – the device of Antikythera. It’s just that we now have the digital equivalent of hundreds of thousands of gears.